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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 10:24:00 AM

Title: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 10:24:00 AM
A close friend of mine is living with her boyfriend in Quebec, Canada. She is trained to be a bilingual elementary teacher. She has student loans and has found it incredibly difficult (impossible?) to find a job as a teacher in Quebec. I think the combination of her Anglophone/English heritage and her new graduate inexperience is making it tough. Schools in QC are closing. What pains her is the fact that if she moved to her home province, BC, she would get snapped up immediately because French-speaking teachers are in high demand there.

Her boyfriend has his dream job in Quebec and is unwilling to relocate. He is making excellent money, and she is barely scraping by. Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years. She is 26, working part-time at a high-end pre-school, and her student loans went into default and she's freaking out. She feels like she's making a lot of financial sacrifices, and he just doesn't get it. He's a great guy, I like him, but it seems like he doesn't empathize with what she's dealing with.

Any words of wisdom? I wish I had some advice for my friend. I was in a similar situation (followed my now-husband's career) and it is tough.

TL;DR - my friend is broke because her boyfriend's city has no good jobs for her. He's not ready for marriage or moving. She feels no financial security. What to tell her??
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: TimmyTightWad on June 01, 2015, 10:51:29 AM
My advice to her would be to move.

The BF understands the importance of financial security in his case but not in hers? That combined with the fact he plans to date her for a decade before dropping the question makes me lean towards him just not being that in to her.

She should ask him to subsidize her living there since she's sacrificing career growth for his convenience. If he refuses then she needs to make the situation more convenient for her self and look into her best interest. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: charis on June 01, 2015, 11:01:00 AM
She needs to sit him down and say that they have a choice between A) he helps her pay her student loans until she finds a job and she can stay in their current city, or B) she moves because she can't afford to stay. 

But I think she should do C) just get the heck out of there - he is blind to the fact that she is struggling financially and has arbitrarily decided that they can't get married for another 5 years?  If he truly wants to be with her, he will find a way to make it work.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: willkp23 on June 01, 2015, 11:01:32 AM
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.    If she doesn't want to move, then she can continue the current arrangement, but don't expect anything to change.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: CheapskateWife on June 01, 2015, 11:03:44 AM
Ouch, that is a tough situation.  I'm with most of the other posters on this though, it seems from our limited perspective that he has what he wants, but it comes at a huge cost to her.  Its up to her to decide if he is worth the sacrifice or not.  Would he be willing to help her get her loans out of default (assuming of course that she is a brilliant mustachian in all her spending habits)?

Following a husband is different than following a boyfriend's career, and if she is feeling insecure, the ball is in her court to make the necessary changes or move on.  She has allowed this situation to go on, put her financial stability at risk by allowing her loans to go into default, and the solution is totally in her control.  Painful?  Probably yes, but she makes the call.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Cathy on June 01, 2015, 11:03:55 AM
If this were in a common law province (i.e. any province other than Quebec), she might have a claim of unjust enrichment against the boyfriend. These facts pretty much cry out for such a claim, assuming the boyfriend is deriving any material benefit from the relationship (such as homemaking services, thereby allowing the boyfriend to focus on his job at her expense -- a very clear type of unjust enrichment). If he is not deriving any benefit from the relationship, there would probably not be a claim.

However, Quebec civil law is different from the common law in effect in other provinces and I don't know what kind of remedies Quebec civil law offers on this topic. She might want to retain a civil law lawyer to find out.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Bob W on June 01, 2015, 11:12:48 AM
Surely there are other jobs?

Besides that,  she needs to make her own decisions independent of her boyfriend.  She isn't an insecure 15 year olds girl.   

Life goes on and she should consider moving on.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: 4alpacas on June 01, 2015, 11:16:48 AM
She needs to get a job to support herself.  If she has to move, then she should move. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: TrMama on June 01, 2015, 11:29:23 AM
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.    If she doesn't want to move, then she can continue the current arrangement, but don't expect anything to change.

^^ This. I wouldn't be "chums" with someone like this.

If this were in a common law province (i.e. any province other than Quebec), she might have a claim of unjust enrichment against the boyfriend. These facts pretty much cry out for such a claim, assuming the boyfriend is deriving any material benefit from the relationship (such as homemaking services, thereby allowing the boyfriend to focus on his job at her expense -- a very clear type of unjust enrichment). If he is not deriving any benefit from the relationship, there would probably not be a claim.

However, Quebec civil law is different from the common law in effect in other provinces and I don't know what kind of remedies Quebec civil law offers on this topic. She might want to retain a civil law lawyer to find out.

^^^ And also this. The laws surrounding common law living arrangements are different in Quebec. In light of this, I find it completely mind blowing so few young couples get married in Quebec.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: MayDay on June 01, 2015, 11:36:17 AM
She needs to sit him down and say that they have a choice between A) he helps her pay her student loans until she finds a job and she can stay in their current city, or B) she moves because she can't afford to stay. 

But I think she should do C) just get the heck out of there - he is blind to the fact that she is struggling financially and has arbitrarily decided that they can't get married for another 5 years?  If he truly wants to be with her, he will find a way to make it work.

Yup yup.

She should tell him that QC isn't working for her, so she's moving back to BC.  Give him a chance to offer to support her.  If he isn't into that, time to move on.  After 5 years of dating, he should be able to make up his mind. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 11:47:25 AM
Surely there are other jobs?

Besides that,  she needs to make her own decisions independent of her boyfriend.  She isn't an insecure 15 year olds girl.   

Life goes on and she should consider moving on.

Definitely there are other jobs, and she's been doing them. She used to work at a health club.

I think there are decisions we make with our head, and decisions we make with our heart. It can be hard to reconcile the two, I think!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Gyosho on June 01, 2015, 11:48:19 AM
I vote move also. If she can't afford to be with this guy, that is a clear sign from the Universe to move on. She also needs to consider the cost of wasting her opportunities.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 11:49:01 AM
Sub-question:

Do I show this thread to my friend? How do I be a good friend to her? I want to be supportive but I also want to be like, "Tell him to sh*t or get off the pot. This isn't fair to you."

O.o Eeps!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: charis on June 01, 2015, 11:51:06 AM
Did she ask for your advice on this topic?  If she did, show her this thread.  If not, stay out of it or be a little more subtle.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 11:58:05 AM
Did she ask for your advice on this topic?  If she did, show her this thread.  If not, stay out of it or be a little more subtle.

She did ask for advice. And I was not wanting to tell her what to do with her life, so I instead posed a series of questions she could ask herself in hopes of clearing her mind. But I wish I could do more, hence this thread.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Tremeroy on June 01, 2015, 12:34:19 PM
Think carefully before sharing anything so directódid she really want your advice, or was she just looking for your comfort / consolation? I guarantee that she already knows all the facts that we've cited in this thread.

If you do feel compelled to give straightforward advice, I think that you should use your own words. There's no reason to share this thread; it could feel like "piling on" from her perspective, plus she is interested in what you think.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: justplucky on June 01, 2015, 01:02:56 PM
Tell him to sh*t or get off the pot.

Haha, the first time I heard that phrase was when my college boyfriend used it when trying to get me to move halfway across the country to be with him. Needless to say, I didn't. My husband (not college boyfriend) and I have some pretty good laughs about how terribly unromantic the appeal was.

One of the main reasons I didn't was because I was taking all of the risk (financially, social support wise), without him even acknowledging it.

She needs to figure out her boundaries in this situation, and then be prepared to enforce them. She should to ask herself how she would feel in the worst-case scenario for either choice. If she stays with him, sacrificing her financial stability, and in five years he still refuses to marry her, how would she feel? I would be enraged, personally. On the other hand, if she leaves him, she may always wonder what could've been, especially if she never meets someone else. Only she can tell which type of regret would be worse for her.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 01:40:16 PM
Think carefully before sharing anything so directódid she really want your advice, or was she just looking for your comfort / consolation? I guarantee that she already knows all the facts that we've cited in this thread.

If you do feel compelled to give straightforward advice, I think that you should use your own words. There's no reason to share this thread; it could feel like "piling on" from her perspective, plus she is interested in what you think.

Excellent points. It's just hard for me to watch her go through a situation so similar to what I experienced. Granted, my employment options weren't as dire, and I am now married to my partner-in-crime, but its pains me to know how she feels and have no way of helping. However, like you say, perhaps a friendly ear was all she needed :)
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: little_brown_dog on June 01, 2015, 01:43:11 PM
unfortunately it seems like your friend already has her answer in regards to her relationship's future - he doesn't view them as a team even though they are already living together. there is nothing to suggest that a ring and a piece of paper would magically change his personal philosophy regarding their relationship. i don't think "he doesn't get it" - i think he probably does get it but doesn't view their relationship as serious enough to sacrifice for her. it sounds like he is just happy to look after himself and she can tag along for the ride if she likes...definitely not solid marriage material.

i wouldn't share this thread with your friend...she clearly thinks they have a future together if she hasn't left already. anything other than some well placed, thought provoking questions and a few very tactful words of advice might harm your friendship. remember, we all claim to want advice until it is the exact thing we wish we didn't hear...
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 01:43:26 PM
Tell him to sh*t or get off the pot.

[edited for size]

She needs to figure out her boundaries in this situation, and then be prepared to enforce them. She should to ask herself how she would feel in the worst-case scenario for either choice. If she stays with him, sacrificing her financial stability, and in five years he still refuses to marry her, how would she feel? I would be enraged, personally. On the other hand, if she leaves him, she may always wonder what could've been, especially if she never meets someone else. Only she can tell which type of regret would be worse for her.

Ahhh so helpful! Thank you!!! Actually, a dear friend of my own gave me very similar advice when I was deciding whether or not to move with my now-husband. I will pass this along to my friend. VERY USEFUL. How could I have forgotten?
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 01:44:07 PM
unfortunately it seems like your friend already has her answer in regards to her relationship's future - he doesn't view them as a team even though they are already living together. there is nothing to suggest that a ring and a piece of paper would magically change his personal philosophy regarding their relationship. i don't think "he doesn't get it" - i think he probably does get it but doesn't view their relationship as serious enough to sacrifice for her. it sounds like he is just happy to look after himself and she can tag along for the ride if she likes...definitely not solid marriage material.

i wouldn't share this thread with your friend...she clearly thinks they have a future together if she hasn't left already. anything other than some well placed, thought provoking questions and a few very tactful words of advice might harm your friendship. remember, we all claim to want advice until it is the exact thing we wish we didn't hear...


Sound logic. Thanks :) I have to agree with you.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: AlwaysBeenASaver on June 01, 2015, 01:44:07 PM
She should move. I have seen too many women give up their career opportunities to allow their husband/partner's career to thrive, then if/when the relationship ends, the woman is older and doesn't have a (good) career to support herself. I've seen it happen to men too, just not nearly as often.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: DeepEllumStache on June 01, 2015, 01:44:27 PM
Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years.

Did she initially request the 50/50 arrangement or did he tell her that was how he felt like relationships should go? Was she also doing more than 50% of the cooking/cleaning/chores? And "he figures" on marriage 5 years down the road... how does she feel about that? Has she made her feelings on the subjects clear?

Based on a tiny snippet, it seems like she's making a lot of sacrifices for someone not willing to commit permanently to her. She's in default on her loans. She can't afford the life they're living. What happens if he changes his mind about marriage in 5 years because she's so far underwater?

As for how to approach it, it depends on how ready she truly is and how much of a shock defaulting on her loans was. It comes across like your friend is a bit conflict averse. It's good that she recognizes it enough to ask you for advice, but she may not be ready for the really pragmatic opinion of standing up for herself and going to the greener pastures in BC.

At a minimum, she needs to have a frank discussion with this guy on where they are and where they're going. If he's not aware of what his decisions are doing to her and her finances, she needs to tell him. He needs to know how she feels. If he's truly committed to the relationship but not to marriage yet, then he needs to show it by building a realistic budget and timeline that suits both of their needs (especially if he's living a more expensive lifestyle than she would without him).
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: NoraLenderbee on June 01, 2015, 01:50:43 PM
The boyfriend is showing her how strong his commitment to her is. It doesn't seem strong enough for him to consider compromises that would improve her career prospects or her financial well-being. He is also showing her the way he will treat her for the rest of their lives together. I would ask her to think about the following questions:
--Does she want to be treated like this forever? Is she satisfied with the priority she is getting in his life?
--I'm sure she loves him. Is she really getting the same kind of love in return?

IMO, there isn't one right way to solve the financial/career issue; different couples can be happy with all different kinds of compromises. The big problem is that he seems to think it's all her problem, not their problem.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 01:57:28 PM
Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years.

Did she initially request the 50/50 arrangement or did he tell her that was how he felt like relationships should go? Was she also doing more than 50% of the cooking/cleaning/chores? And "he figures" on marriage 5 years down the road... how does she feel about that? Has she made her feelings on the subjects clear?

Based on a tiny snippet, it seems like she's making a lot of sacrifices for someone not willing to commit permanently to her. She's in default on her loans. She can't afford the life they're living. What happens if he changes his mind about marriage in 5 years because she's so far underwater?

As for how to approach it, it depends on how ready she truly is and how much of a shock defaulting on her loans was. It comes across like your friend is a bit conflict averse. It's good that she recognizes it enough to ask you for advice, but she may not be ready for the really pragmatic opinion of standing up for herself and going to the greener pastures in BC.

At a minimum, she needs to have a frank discussion with this guy on where they are and where they're going. If he's not aware of what his decisions are doing to her and her finances, she needs to tell him. He needs to know how she feels. If he's truly committed to the relationship but not to marriage yet, then he needs to show it by building a realistic budget and timeline that suits both of their needs (especially if he's living a more expensive lifestyle than she would without him).

The 50/50 rent splitting was his idea. He has relented and they are now paying about 70/30. I don't know about household chores but it would not surprise me if she did more. However, I should not guess because I don't actually know.

To complicate matters, he's Jewish and she's not - I think there's some family resistance about the prospect of their marriage. Isn't life interesting??
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 01:58:32 PM
The boyfriend is showing her how strong his commitment to her is. It doesn't seem strong enough for him to consider compromises that would improve her career prospects or her financial well-being. He is also showing her the way he will treat her for the rest of their lives together. I would ask her to think about the following questions:
--Does she want to be treated like this forever? Is she satisfied with the priority she is getting in his life?
--I'm sure she loves him. Is she really getting the same kind of love in return?

IMO, there isn't one right way to solve the financial/career issue; different couples can be happy with all different kinds of compromises. The big problem is that he seems to think it's all her problem, not their problem.

Wow, very astute questions. I will pass these along to her if I get the opportunity :)

I think helping people by posing questions can be very useful. I don't like to tell people what to do.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: partgypsy on June 01, 2015, 02:06:29 PM
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 02:14:19 PM
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

Very legit option. Lots of people do long-distance these days.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: JLee on June 01, 2015, 02:42:06 PM
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

Very legit option. Lots of people do long-distance these days.
Yup. And if she has summers off, she could go back and live with him for a few months.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Allie on June 01, 2015, 03:10:33 PM
Plus 1 to everyone who says she needs to decide which worst case scenario she would prefer.  She has no control over her boyfriend's intentions or life course, only her own.  Wishing really, really hard that he will become an empathetic adult who understands and cares about her well being will not make it so.  That he sees her struggling and languishing and only offers to help when pressured does not indicate he will be good husband material.

In my personal life, after our respective graduate and professional schools were complete my future husband got a great job offer in his home town.  I had a great job offer in the town we were living in at the time.  He was sure that in a few years he could be doing very, very well if he moved back.  I trusted him but wasn't sure about my future prospects.  It was a no brainer to get married first.  It made me feel confident in my decision about my future and it made him feel confident in our relationship. 

We went from two people trying to figure out what was in our own best interests to a team working for the common good.  When you are a team you support each other and your partner's struggles become yours.  It doesn't sound like your friends boyfriend is feeling very sportsmanlike.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 03:15:17 PM
There are such things as long distance relationships. If I were her, I would think, I'm not married yet, and for me the best choice is (relocate for a better job). My nephew is getting married this summer, and they were separated for 4 years due to being located in different areas, so they could pursue their educational degrees. Not saying it will work out, but if anything, it will equalize their footing and the relationship will survive on its own merits, not based on convenience.
I personally do not like the idea that he owes her anything regarding paying back college loans, unless that was something they discussed in advance and agreed on together.

Very legit option. Lots of people do long-distance these days.
Yup. And if she has summers off, she could go back and live with him for a few months.

HOW DID I NOT THINK OF THIS??!!!

Apologies for yelling, but wow. I am really amazed that I didn't think of that. Then again, maybe my friend didn't, either. Hmm a very interesting possibility. Gotta love the MMM think tank!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 03:16:49 PM
Plus 1 to everyone who says she needs to decide which worst case scenario she would prefer.  She has no control over her boyfriend's intentions or life course, only her own.  Wishing really, really hard that he will become an empathetic adult who understands and cares about her well being will not make it so.  That he sees her struggling and languishing and only offers to help when pressured does not indicate he will be good husband material.

In my personal life, after our respective graduate and professional schools were complete my future husband got a great job offer in his home town.  I had a great job offer in the town we were living in at the time.  He was sure that in a few years he could be doing very, very well if he moved back.  I trusted him but wasn't sure about my future prospects.  It was a no brainer to get married first.  It made me feel confident in my decision about my future and it made him feel confident in our relationship. 

We went from two people trying to figure out what was in our own best interests to a team working for the common good.  When you are a team you support each other and your partner's struggles become yours.  It doesn't sound like your friends boyfriend is feeling very sportsmanlike.

+1

I am in a similar situation to yours. It feels a lot nicer to work together as a team. I've come to a point where my husband's career path is "our" career path, and I know that he is verrrrry supportive of my goals, and it's just all in all a very comforting situation to be in.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Bearded Man on June 01, 2015, 03:21:50 PM
Have her try a long distance relationship. Since he makes the money, he can go visit her at his expense, if not, break it off.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: DeepEllumStache on June 01, 2015, 03:39:25 PM
Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years.

Did she initially request the 50/50 arrangement or did he tell her that was how he felt like relationships should go? Was she also doing more than 50% of the cooking/cleaning/chores? And "he figures" on marriage 5 years down the road... how does she feel about that? Has she made her feelings on the subjects clear?

Based on a tiny snippet, it seems like she's making a lot of sacrifices for someone not willing to commit permanently to her. She's in default on her loans. She can't afford the life they're living. What happens if he changes his mind about marriage in 5 years because she's so far underwater?

As for how to approach it, it depends on how ready she truly is and how much of a shock defaulting on her loans was. It comes across like your friend is a bit conflict averse. It's good that she recognizes it enough to ask you for advice, but she may not be ready for the really pragmatic opinion of standing up for herself and going to the greener pastures in BC.

At a minimum, she needs to have a frank discussion with this guy on where they are and where they're going. If he's not aware of what his decisions are doing to her and her finances, she needs to tell him. He needs to know how she feels. If he's truly committed to the relationship but not to marriage yet, then he needs to show it by building a realistic budget and timeline that suits both of their needs (especially if he's living a more expensive lifestyle than she would without him).

The 50/50 rent splitting was his idea. He has relented and they are now paying about 70/30. I don't know about household chores but it would not surprise me if she did more. However, I should not guess because I don't actually know.

To complicate matters, he's Jewish and she's not - I think there's some family resistance about the prospect of their marriage. Isn't life interesting??

The situation throws up a lot of red flags to me.

How independent is she? Does she want a partner or does she want someone to take care of her? If he's very career driven and feels like everyone should be as well, then her staying in such a bad financial situation probably reinforces his concerns.

I knew someone who was delaying marriage because he knew the mother of his child would quit her job the moment they were engaged.  Being a SAHP is wonderful if you are committed as a team, but they weren't at that point. The dual income setup was helpful and he didn't want her to miss out on two decades of skills/work experience immediately after college. It worried him that there was a lot of pressure from her family to go the SAHP route, regardless of the individual situation. They lived together as a family, but still not married even though the kid was 3.

It makes me wonder if there's a similar dynamic and this guy is delaying marriage because he's worried she'll immediately quit looking for a job and become dependent. If that's true, she'll win in more ways than one way by leaving and getting a much better job in BC. Staying would set her up for more debt and possibly reinforce his worries that she only wants him for his capacity to earn.

Plus the summers and breaks together idea is genius.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: backyardfeast on June 01, 2015, 03:51:39 PM
+1 for the consideration of the long-distance relationship.  I think the key to helping someone else with their relationship is to a) present your own experiences, having been through this yourself, and b) helping to think through a variety of options and trying on how they feel.  Then said friend, in her own journey, can take steps as she feels they are right.  I'm not a big fan of ultimatums or either/or approaches in relationships unless absolutely necessary; they usually just make one or the other person feel threatened or unsupported, and that doesn't help anything.

You are already, by the sounds of things, in a loving partnership, where hard choices have had to be negotiated in complicated realities.  I would stress for your friend that in a real, loving partnership, both people should feel like they are getting treated as equals, with equally important needs that need to be addressed and supported.  This, of course, does not mean that both people can have everything they want/every need met all the time, but each person needs to feel like they are being valued, and that they are troubleshooting issues *together*.  Is this the case for her?  If so, then she should feel comfortable sitting down with her partner and sharing her concerns: "I'm really struggling here.  I want to be here with you, but I really can't make ends meet or find work.  Can we think through *our* options and how we would feel about them?"  Options could then include: joining finances and having him support her financially because having her with him is important enough for him to do so; having her pursue work options elsewhere that might include opportunities to travel to visit him and vice versa; breaking up to pursue other goals.

In our case, our careers also took us in different directions for a couple of of years.  But we always felt like a team; I felt that I (the one who ended up elsewhere) had made a free choice to fulfill my own needs/career goals, and that this choice was completely supported by my now-DH.  If the relationship had needed to end as we grew apart, we were ok with that, and both of us worked to make sure that it didn't come to that.  In our case, the first year living apart confirmed that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and set a wonderful precedent that honouring our own needs, even if that entailed some sacrifices, was important and not threatening.  We have other friends who found that a year apart made it clear that they were happier on their own than together. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: rocksinmyhead on June 01, 2015, 04:01:15 PM
good god I would be absolutely flipping out. I'm in a similar situation relationship-wise (just turned 27, dating for almost five years) and even I'm at the point where we are having to have SERIOUS conversations about whether he really, truly wants to get married or not. if he said "not for another five years" I think I would have to peace out, although it would be brutally painful. and in our case, I'M the one who makes way more money (and he moved across the country for my job), and we pay for stuff proportionally. I honestly think that is so gross that she moved somewhere for him and he just FINALLY came around to splitting bills proportionately (and won't get married). (and by "gross" I don't mean I'm judging her, I'm judging HIM for being so selfish!)

Have her try a long distance relationship. Since he makes the money, he can go visit her at his expense, if not, break it off.

yes! I like all these ideas about at least trying long-distance. if it doesn't work, well, then you know.

If the relationship had needed to end as we grew apart, we were ok with that, and both of us worked to make sure that it didn't come to that.  In our case, the first year living apart confirmed that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and set a wonderful precedent that honouring our own needs, even if that entailed some sacrifices, was important and not threatening.  We have other friends who found that a year apart made it clear that they were happier on their own than together. 

this definitely makes sense! so glad it worked out for you guys.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on June 01, 2015, 04:03:17 PM
Her family, etc. is in BC?  So it's not like she's leaving the only relationship she has to move west? Assuming so, I also vote move and try a long distance relationship. It will stress the relationship enough that she will know relatively quickly whether there is a future in this relationship or not. I.e., they will break up sooner rather than in 5 years when he's still not into her enough to get married, and she'll be able to move on with her awesome life.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mm1970 on June 01, 2015, 04:27:29 PM
A close friend of mine is living with her boyfriend in Quebec, Canada. She is trained to be a bilingual elementary teacher. She has student loans and has found it incredibly difficult (impossible?) to find a job as a teacher in Quebec. I think the combination of her Anglophone/English heritage and her new graduate inexperience is making it tough. Schools in QC are closing. What pains her is the fact that if she moved to her home province, BC, she would get snapped up immediately because French-speaking teachers are in high demand there.

Her boyfriend has his dream job in Quebec and is unwilling to relocate. He is making excellent money, and she is barely scraping by. Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years. She is 26, working part-time at a high-end pre-school, and her student loans went into default and she's freaking out. She feels like she's making a lot of financial sacrifices, and he just doesn't get it. He's a great guy, I like him, but it seems like he doesn't empathize with what she's dealing with.

Any words of wisdom? I wish I had some advice for my friend. I was in a similar situation (followed my now-husband's career) and it is tough.

TL;DR - my friend is broke because her boyfriend's city has no good jobs for her. He's not ready for marriage or moving. She feels no financial security. What to tell her??
Dump him, move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

Or maybe not dump him, but do all the rest.  Have a long term relationship.  Sometimes they work.  But generally not. 

I was much  younger (20-21) when my college boyfriend suggested that I set myself up to follow him in the Navy.  I realized that I didn't want to do that - that I needed to take care of my own career.  That was that.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mm1970 on June 01, 2015, 04:28:40 PM
She needs to sit him down and say that they have a choice between A) he helps her pay her student loans until she finds a job and she can stay in their current city, or B) she moves because she can't afford to stay. 

But I think she should do C) just get the heck out of there - he is blind to the fact that she is struggling financially and has arbitrarily decided that they can't get married for another 5 years?  If he truly wants to be with her, he will find a way to make it work.
Especially since he "agreed" to not do 50/50 on rent.  Um, duh?
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 01, 2015, 04:30:49 PM
If he hasn't wanted to marry after this stretch of 5 years, why would he want to after the next stretch? Sends up some flags for me.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Krnten on June 01, 2015, 06:01:50 PM
I have a friend in a similar situation.  Her boyfriend took a job across country after making the decision entirely on his own.  Later he invited her to move out there.  Not to get engaged, or even to move in with him, just to uproot her life and move across country to be near him.  She did, shockingly!  Then he bought a house by himself and when her lease ended, he offered that she could stay with him while she looked for a new place. 

I want to advise her to dump him several years ago, but I can't bring myself to say it.  He explicitly says that they can't get married because of religious differences, but both of them are 100% secular.

She's not a pushover at all and is quite independent.  I can't figure it out.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: rue on June 01, 2015, 06:30:22 PM
sorry but I say leave him.  You have to think long term.  When she is older will he stand by her?  If they have a child will he support them?  I think she is seriously reducing her income potential if there are no well paid jobs near him.  I would advise her to go get a real income (in view of him not supporting her more financially) and only then will she gain real independence to make decisions in her life.  She will feel pain and suffering leaving but many people grow spiritually through pain and suffering as only through suffering can we truly appreciate joy.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 01, 2015, 07:21:32 PM

I have a friend in a similar situation.  Her boyfriend took a job across country after making the decision entirely on his own.  Later he invited her to move out there.  Not to get engaged, or even to move in with him, just to uproot her life and move across country to be near him.  She did, shockingly!  Then he bought a house by himself and when her lease ended, he offered that she could stay with him while she looked for a new place. 

I want to advise her to dump him several years ago, but I can't bring myself to say it.  He explicitly says that they can't get married because of religious differences, but both of them are 100% secular.

She's not a pushover at all and is quite independent.  I can't figure it out.

Ack, so similar to my friend!! I can't figure it either.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: okonomiyaki on June 01, 2015, 09:32:46 PM
I would go with long distance relationship for the added benefit that it is psychologically easier to deal with the financial issues first, and then the emotional ones. If she leaves him (presumably still loving him) and is looking for a job in new city it is very, very hard to deal with.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: former player on June 02, 2015, 02:41:21 AM
Can you suggest to your friend that she starts looking at what jobs are available in BC?  If she can find an opening for her "dream job" back in BC then that would give her a starting point to talk to her boyfriend - something along the lines of "you know I've been struggling to find a job here that matches my training, I was looking at what's happening back home in BC and I've found this advert for my dream job, I'm thinking of going for it, what do you think?

It would smoke out a bit more of the boyfriend's real views, and give your friend a retreat with honour if they are anything less than "I can't live without you, let's get married and we'll stick it out here together until you can get a job here that meets your aspirations for yourself".
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: KBecks2 on June 02, 2015, 04:31:41 AM
He seems to be getting his milk for free.  If he will not marry now, she should move and begin meeting new people.  5 years s is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: KBecks2 on June 02, 2015, 04:45:21 AM
For talking to your friend,  you are close.  Be honest.  Be loving and giv her lots of support through her transition.  She needs to move. This man is not going to marry from this easy living situation and family pushback.  There is a better job and a better partner for her.  She should think big! If he's right he will stay interested through long distance.  But she should date and choose from a fee more options.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: markbrynn on June 02, 2015, 05:24:02 AM
I think I understand the thoughts behind people saying that he should marry her or she should leave him (to paraphrase from several posts). However, I'm not sure why people (in this day and age) use marriage as a catch all for "taking responsibility" and expressing commitment. Why not just say explicitly what is wrong with the situation?

Which to me is:
Your friend and her boyfriend should be equal partners in their life. If you forget all the religious and governmental aspects of marriage, they are in essence already married (living in a house and sharing their life). Except that the bf is not quite sharing. He is letting his gf make sacrifices in her career for him and he is not compensating by sharing his benefits (money from the career he is allowed to pursue). For me, this is where the separate finances model (discussed in other threads) has some problems. If they are going to keep their finances separate, then she shouldn't be sacrificing her career for him. That's what you do when you're a full partnership (could be marriage, but doesn't have to be).

In the end, I'm probably at the same conclusion as many others. I just think that marriage (especially pressure to get married) can be an emotional subject that clouds the issue. Either they work together for their (joint) future or it becomes everybody for themselves.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on June 02, 2015, 06:00:38 AM
I never really believed in government dictating the terms of interpersonal relationships. I seem to be surrounded by people who feel otherwise it seems, at least in this thread. I have to wholeheartedly agree that your friends situation sucks.......the situation is quite literally keeping her from gaining financial independence. I would definitely move back to BC in her shoes, and see how serious the relationship really is. If he cares about her that much, they will make it work and he will have to compromise in some way, shape, or form.

As far as marriage goes, that is up to them and them alone. I have been with my SO for just under 4 1/2 years. The social pressure to get married is strong, her friends getting married very young does not help. Do I love the girl? Yes. Do I want to spend the foreseeable future with her? Yes. Do I view us as a team? Absolutely. Do I want to get married? Not in the traditional sense of the word. Will this be a dealbreaker for us? I guess we will find out. It's something I struggle with regularly. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: GuitarStv on June 02, 2015, 06:31:24 AM
I suspect a long distance relationship of 5000km and several time zones will be a nail in the coffin for this relationship.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: JLee on June 02, 2015, 07:56:06 AM
I think I understand the thoughts behind people saying that he should marry her or she should leave him (to paraphrase from several posts). However, I'm not sure why people (in this day and age) use marriage as a catch all for "taking responsibility" and expressing commitment. Why not just say explicitly what is wrong with the situation?

Which to me is:
Your friend and her boyfriend should be equal partners in their life. If you forget all the religious and governmental aspects of marriage, they are in essence already married (living in a house and sharing their life). Except that the bf is not quite sharing. He is letting his gf make sacrifices in her career for him and he is not compensating by sharing his benefits (money from the career he is allowed to pursue). For me, this is where the separate finances model (discussed in other threads) has some problems. If they are going to keep their finances separate, then she shouldn't be sacrificing her career for him. That's what you do when you're a full partnership (could be marriage, but doesn't have to be).

In the end, I'm probably at the same conclusion as many others. I just think that marriage (especially pressure to get married) can be an emotional subject that clouds the issue. Either they work together for their (joint) future or it becomes everybody for themselves.

I agree. "Get married, it'll solve your problems" is BS.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: CestMoi on June 02, 2015, 09:26:49 AM
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Cookie78 on June 02, 2015, 09:33:58 AM
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Exactly. Whether she wants to keep the relationship (long distance) or not is a separate issue.
Convincing the bf to get married would not fix any of these problems. It would only cause resentment on both sides and create a situation that was harder to leave.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 02, 2015, 09:36:45 AM
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Exactly. Whether she wants to keep the relationship (long distance) or not is a separate issue.
Convincing the bf to get married would not fix any of these problems. It would only cause resentment on both sides and create a situation that was harder to leave.

Woah. Sound advice.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: CommonCents on June 02, 2015, 09:44:14 AM
Can you suggest to your friend that she starts looking at what jobs are available in BC?  If she can find an opening for her "dream job" back in BC then that would give her a starting point to talk to her boyfriend - something along the lines of "you know I've been struggling to find a job here that matches my training, I was looking at what's happening back home in BC and I've found this advert for my dream job, I'm thinking of going for it, what do you think?

It would smoke out a bit more of the boyfriend's real views, [snip]

This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

And she ought to ask him a lot of questions about "what ifs" to understand his perspective - and then make a decision.  What if she never finds a good (forget dream) job in her field?  Would he offer to move back with her?  Or would he think that she ought to switch fields?  What if she can't pay her student loans?  What if his job sends him elsewhere?  What if she moves back - would they continue a long distance relationship or is it over?

Show her this thread btw.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: backyardfeast on June 02, 2015, 01:09:32 PM
Just wanted to add that BC may feel very far away from Mtl, (because it is!) and may not be the only province desperate for French teachers.  Unless (as nwedible suggested) her community and family are in BC and therefore it is the logical place to return to, the Maritimes or Manitoba might also have great opportunities without being quite so far. (I'm assuming Ontario will not be desperate, given it's proximity to Quebec, but I don't know that for sure)
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: TrulyStashin on June 02, 2015, 03:16:59 PM
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

+1

The first rule of holes is .... stop digging.  She's already in default.  Where will she be in another 6 months?  A year?  Yeesh.

Edited to add:  Has he bothered to look for another "dream" job for him in BC?  I bet they're out there.  If he isn't even willing to look then she needs to see that for what it is.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mm1970 on June 02, 2015, 04:28:19 PM
RE: move to BC, get a job, save money, pay off her loans, take care of her own career and future.

-I second this advice!

Exactly. Whether she wants to keep the relationship (long distance) or not is a separate issue.
Convincing the bf to get married would not fix any of these problems. It would only cause resentment on both sides and create a situation that was harder to leave.
Right, which is why when she does it, she shouldn't make it an ultimatum, "marry me or else".  It's like doing job interviews JUST to get a counter offer (maybe you aren't wanted?)

On a similar note, when my boyfriend got out of the Navy and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast - I couldn't go, because I was still in the Navy.  We'd been together for 2.5 years at that point, and I just said "I'm willing to give the long distance thing a try, but...too long without an actual commitment?  Not sure if it will last a couple more years."

I wasn't giving him an ultimatum, I was just being honest that I was unlikely to want to fly back and forth for 2 years and THEN move to the other coast and look for a NEW job with no commitment.

Anyway.  Our 19th wedding anniversary is next month, so it worked out.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Fuzz on June 02, 2015, 05:50:43 PM
It's really easy to advise someone we don't know to dump her SO and try for someone better. That's really hard. Hope it works out for her.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 02, 2015, 05:59:46 PM
It's really easy to advise someone we don't know to dump her SO and try for someone better. That's really hard. Hope it works out for her.

Lol it's really hard even if it's someone you know!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: MrsPete on June 02, 2015, 08:03:02 PM
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.    If she doesn't want to move, then she can continue the current arrangement, but don't expect anything to change.
Totally agree.  This moving in together thing isn't a great idea.  Either combine your lives, or don't -- but this half-way approach seems to go bad so frequently. 

unfortunately it seems like your friend already has her answer in regards to her relationship's future - he doesn't view them as a team even though they are already living together. there is nothing to suggest that a ring and a piece of paper would magically change his personal philosophy regarding their relationship. i don't think "he doesn't get it" - i think he probably does get it but doesn't view their relationship as serious enough to sacrifice for her. it sounds like he is just happy to look after himself and she can tag along for the ride if she likes...definitely not solid marriage material.
Agree.  Sounds like he has everything he wants:  He lives where he wants, in a place where his career is taking off, and he isn't moving towards marriage.  She, on the other hand, is getting essentially nothing she wants. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: JLee on June 03, 2015, 08:14:01 AM
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.    If she doesn't want to move, then she can continue the current arrangement, but don't expect anything to change.
Totally agree.  This moving in together thing isn't a great idea.  Either combine your lives, or don't -- but this half-way approach seems to go bad so frequently. 

unfortunately it seems like your friend already has her answer in regards to her relationship's future - he doesn't view them as a team even though they are already living together. there is nothing to suggest that a ring and a piece of paper would magically change his personal philosophy regarding their relationship. i don't think "he doesn't get it" - i think he probably does get it but doesn't view their relationship as serious enough to sacrifice for her. it sounds like he is just happy to look after himself and she can tag along for the ride if she likes...definitely not solid marriage material.
Agree.  Sounds like he has everything he wants:  He lives where he wants, in a place where his career is taking off, and he isn't moving towards marriage.  She, on the other hand, is getting essentially nothing she wants.

Marriage is a piece of paper. It would solve nothing in this situation.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mrmiyagi on June 03, 2015, 08:40:01 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: JLee on June 03, 2015, 08:44:00 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Retire-Canada on June 03, 2015, 08:46:41 AM

Any words of wisdom? I wish I had some advice for my friend. I was in a similar situation (followed my now-husband's career) and it is tough.

She needs to evaluate the situation herself and take action she feels is appropriate. You can't proxy for her. If she wants advice she needs to seek it out herself.

Getting info from you 2nd hand and then going back and forth on it here is next to useless. If you want to help her and you think this forum would be helpful to her what you can do as her friend is point her here and see if she wants our help.

If not this is just a lot of keyboard masturbation.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: CommonCents on June 03, 2015, 08:50:11 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

Still a part-time work history, but shared savings for the past year.  Obviously they can't full share the impacts of this decision on their career progress, but it's ameliorated to a degree by sharing at least the financial impact.  The financial benefit of moving to further his career is partially shared with the corresponding burden and negative impact on her career, rather than one person shouldering the full negative impact should the relationship fail.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mrmiyagi on June 03, 2015, 09:01:54 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: JLee on June 03, 2015, 09:07:21 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

If there's no prenup, then sure that would be a possibility. It'd basically be adding a safety net through coercion / threat of legal action, which is IMO incredibly unhealthy for a relationship.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: iris lily on June 03, 2015, 09:07:50 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

I can't see that this boyfriend has made signs of commitment at all. Has he? Whether it is recorded or not is a detail.

My guess is that she moved in with him in the hopes that it would lead to marriage. They both likely viewed moving in together as a step toward permanent commitment. That committment has not happened. He would be paying toward her student loans, for one thing, if it had happened.

Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mrmiyagi on June 03, 2015, 09:52:07 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

If there's no prenup, then sure that would be a possibility. It'd basically be adding a safety net through coercion / threat of legal action, which is IMO incredibly unhealthy for a relationship.

Coercion? I'm not suggesting the guy be forced to marry a girl he doesn't want to. If they want to spend their lives together, they should get married. If they don't, they shouldn't. The point is that if this relationship is not a long-term commitment, the girl shouldn't be making major life/career sacrifices for him.

Marriage is just one way to show commitment (certainly not the only one). I don't begrudge people who choose to go other routes. But maybe I should have asked my wife when I proposed - "will you accept this ring as a threat of future legal action against you?"
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: CommonCents on June 03, 2015, 11:51:16 AM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.

She'd get something like half of their assets, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I've never been divorced, so I am certainly no expert. But in that situation I believe she'd at least get some money to help land on her feet.

If there's no prenup, then sure that would be a possibility. It'd basically be adding a safety net through coercion / threat of legal action, which is IMO incredibly unhealthy for a relationship.

Coercion? I'm not suggesting the guy be forced to marry a girl he doesn't want to. If they want to spend their lives together, they should get married. If they don't, they shouldn't. The point is that if this relationship is not a long-term commitment, the girl shouldn't be making major life/career sacrifices for him.

Marriage is just one way to show commitment (certainly not the only one).

+1
The issue is he isn't showing any commitment - it's entirely one-sided.  I'm not pushing marriage on them, I was just answering your question above.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Allie on June 03, 2015, 12:06:43 PM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.
This will sound completely unromantic, but marriage provides a strong safety net for the trailing spouse in a way that a really heartfelt commitment can not.  I moved thousands of miles away from my friends, family, and career to support my soon to be husband.  Being able to show that could have increased the financial support available to me from him if the relationship doesn't last. 

We happily cohabitated for years before getting married.  It was my attorney husband who explained all of this to me as we discussed our future.  Offering marriage was one of his ways of saying that he believed in our relationship, our team, and our future.  You shouldn't force anyone to get married, it will just make things messier in the future.  But, there are some really good reasons for (or against) marriage as a legal contract depending on your situation. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: EricL on June 03, 2015, 12:13:31 PM
 The whole "wait five years to get married" thing sends up a red flag for me.   She should dump this  self absorbed bozo and get somebody in the location where she can earn her own way. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: tlars699 on June 03, 2015, 12:15:28 PM
There is a book called Dump That Chump-

It really helped me work through the end of my relationship where I did the sacrificing for the dude, and he two timed me, and left me behind with our babies for someone who did everything for him, instead of hold him to the expectation of being a partner, like I did.

If her relationship ends because of all of this blow-up: get it for her, please. It really did save me from myself/harsh judgement about being fooled by a jerk.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Cpa Cat on June 03, 2015, 12:38:50 PM
Regarding the marriage issue:

I moved from Canada to the United States to be with my husband. It was conceivable for me to have done this without getting married immediately, but it would have been more expensive (for me). The move was costly for me - I sacrificed a lot, including scholarships, a job, and family support. I was not able to work immediately, nor could I resume school right away. When I did go back to school, I had to take out student loans (in my name) - which would not have happened if I had stayed in Canada and finished school.

What marriage did for me:
1. Our prenup protected his premarital assets and I agreed that alimony was not appropriate, but it provided a sum of money to ensure that in the event that our relationship failed, I was not stranded, penniless and jobless in a foreign country. It also compensated me for the costs associated with my moving to the States.
2. Since my legal and financial status was tenuous, it ensured that I couldn't simply be abandoned without repercussions.
3. I was entitled to half of our assets that were accrued post-maritally. I ended up doing a lot of unpaid work building his company, which we ultimately sold.

I think it should send up alarm signals to anyone that their partner is willing to have them sacrifice financially and emotionally in order to be in their preferred location, but unwilling to offer up legal protections in case things go awry. While I am sure that the pleasure of his company is great and all, I'm not sure why he expects her to "pay" for it, while he gets her company for free.

And maybe this is just me... but if I was with someone for 5 years and he told me he wanted to wait 5 more years before getting married, I'd probably say, "Oh, that's cool. I'm moving on with my life. Call me in 5 years and I'll let you know if I'm available."
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: tlars699 on June 03, 2015, 01:37:25 PM
I did want to say upon reflection- for those of you asking, "She's so smart and independent, why is she still with him?!"
...as I've come from a similar situation, I feel that it's because she's normally a with-it, intelligent and independent person.
What do I mean?
I mean, she can't bring herself to face the fact that she has fallen for someone who has taken advantage of her good nature, because she thinks she would see someone like that from a mile away.

She saw something in this person that made her feel good and happy, even if only for a little while, and it's really very painful to think that it was only a mirage, put in place by a Chump to lure her and keep her for his own benefit.

It is especially why most of us, when confronted with a conflicting opinion about someone-whom-we-love's behavior, even when we suspect it to be true, want to wholly reject that idea. "No, I couldn't be that blind, or stupid, or foolish about him. There was SOMETHING THERE, I tell you!"

But then you're too close to see it to be true, you're in the middle of the mirage going, "Where did it go? That sand dune is really shiny, TOO shiny! It HAS to be water!*starts digging*"

So, a thing that would really help her assess the relationship for what it truly is, is distance- both physically (MOVE! NOW!), and mentally(reconnect with the area instead of the BF).

Also: BEWARE the Boyfriend's behavior after she leaves.
If he is a Chump, he'll probably try manipulate her into either feeling HORRIBLE, or to try and get her to move back with him.

If he truly wants to be with her, he'll either wait for her, or be willing to ACT on his feelings(not give wonderful promises, and then end up same old, same mold).


Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: galliver on June 03, 2015, 02:13:24 PM
I think one thing you could take back to your friend from this whole thread: it is normal/expected for a better earning partner to support their partner who somehow sacrificed for the earner to follow their career. Whether that means marriage or not, some sort of agreement that works for both of them needs to be reached. It may not be a legal entitlement outside of marriage, but it is an aspect of being treated well...same way you expect to spend time together with your partner, address each other respectfully, etc. That her boyfriend is NOT doing this means he is NOT treating her well...same as if he was cussing her out and putting her down. She should not put up with it.

He really has two choices: create acceptable conditions (financially, etc) for her to create a life in Quebec (whatever that means for her: a transfer of funds, him covering some bills like rent&utilities entirely, marriage, etc). If he can't/won't provide this, he has to accept that she will make decisions based on her own self-interest and that will probably mean a long-distance relationship. Unlike others, I don't think this is a universal, objective test of relationships (I think that some people are just better at long-distance), but it's simply what has to happen for her to meet her financial obligations, if he is unwilling to help/make that tradeoff.

My bf moved across the country for me last year; fortunately, his job let him transfer quite easily (because as a grad student I don't make enough to comfortably support both of us). But he made personal sacrifices: social life, having to get up at 5AM to have work calls with the East Coast, the hassle of actually moving. He barely hesitated. But if he had chosen not to, I would have been faced with a similar choice, and frankly I was ready for any inconvenience or even dropping out of grad school in order to stay in the same state. To make such a decision unilaterally and then expect your partner to live up to your arbitrary expectations that didn't account for their challenges...well that's just a douche move.

Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Chranstronaut on June 03, 2015, 02:28:49 PM
I think one thing you could take back to your friend from this whole thread: it is normal/expected for a better earning partner to support their partner who somehow sacrificed for the earner to follow their career ... it is an aspect of being treated well...same way you expect to spend time together with your partner, address each other respectfully, etc.

*slow clap*
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mc6 on June 05, 2015, 04:59:03 PM
DTFMA.  My favorite acronym!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: MrsPete on June 05, 2015, 06:16:17 PM
Marriage is a piece of paper.
Wrong.  Marriage is a commitment, a promise that your relationship is based upon more than emotions, which ebb and flow.  It's a promise that you have a future together, that you're building a life together, that you'll not leave when circumstances change or when you experience a stretch of bad times.  It's about security. 
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Cpa Cat on June 05, 2015, 06:39:11 PM
Marriage is a piece of paper.
Wrong.  Marriage is a commitment, a promise that your relationship is based upon more than emotions, which ebb and flow.  It's a promise that you have a future together, that you're building a life together, that you'll not leave when circumstances change or when you experience a stretch of bad times.  It's about security.

+1

Marriage is a piece of paper if two people are engaged in a partnership of equals and when marriage comes up, they mutually agree that it's not an important part of their future and has no benefit for them.

Marriage is NOT a piece of paper when one or both partners are interested in marriage, but there is something getting in their way (either the law, circumstances, or unwillingness from one partner). When - such as in this case - one partner wishes to get married but the other partner is not willing (yet), then it signals that they are not equally committed and the unwilling partner is uncertain of the future.

"Maybe in five years" means: Yes, I want to get married, but I'm totally sure I want to marry you. If we're still together in 5 years, then maybe this really is as good as it gets and I'll be willing to settle.

No one should be sacrificing their future and finances for a "Maybe in five years."

That guy has every right not to want to marry her. But he did not say, "Marriage is just a piece a paper." He said "Maybe in five years."
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Drew664 on June 06, 2015, 12:23:34 PM
They really should seek out a couples councilor.

Not really seeing anyone sticking up for they guy in this situation. How does his financial situation change if they move where it works best for her and not him? It's the same argument, just that the sides are flip flopped. They need to air this tension in both their financial and emotional lives to an individual that can truly help and is trained to do so.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: okits on June 06, 2015, 01:52:56 PM
It's true that we're too far removed from the situation to really fully see and assess what is going on.  But you're not, being her friend and confidant.

The one piece of advice I can offer is that if you are truly her friend (not just a buddy to hang out with or an acquaintance), give her your true thoughts and opinions. Tactfully, but honestly and completely.  Even if it's awkward and uncomfortable. Even if she ultimately ignores your advice. Even if it harms your friendship or ends it.  Be willing to make that sacrifice because you care about her.

I say this being a decade older than you, with a friend who spent 10 years in a dead-end relationship. Her friends could see that there was fundamental incompatibility between her stated goals (building a stable life, career, wealth, family) and what was in the relationship (from both sides: selfishness, apathy, lack of commitment, mistrust, unfaithfulness.) Due to shared assets, a marriage ceremony shortly before the break up, and her ex's feelings of entitlement to her family's wealth they are now enduring a painful, protracted, and costly legal process.  On top of lost wealth and lost time she could have spent searching for and building a life with a more compatible partner, she is also facing a closing window of opportunity for biological children (which she wants), as age-related infertility approaches.

It's been terrible to watch and sad to see her hurt and disappointment.  The only non-regret is that her friends and family (myself and others) gave her our honest thoughts and fears multiple times when asked for advice. She went through all this with her eyes open to the possible outcomes.  While only she could choose to save herself from this situation, we at least gave her the knowledge and support to do so if she wanted to.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: sheepstache on June 06, 2015, 02:38:25 PM
I agree with a lot of the other advice here, especially that suggesting a long-term relationship is just as much for her psychological benefit as for the actual relationship.

I agree with the point that marriage isn't necessary for commitment, but I would say that marriage obviously means something symbolically to the boyfriend or he wouldn't be putting it off.

I don't know if this would necessarily help as advice, but what I'm thinking is that 27 is a great age to be looking for a long-term relationship, but 32 isn't. Say you want kids by 35, say you want to be with someone for 3 years before having kids, you'd have to be ready and lucky enough to jump into the perfect relationship right off the bat. I mean, I'm sorry it sounds a little calculating, but that's the way it is when you're sitting on a depreciating asset (even setting aside whether she wants kids or not).   And desirable guys who will date 32 year old women, guys who have their shit together, tend to also want women who have their shit together, which she won't if she fritters away a lot more time. Obviously there are plenty of 32 year old women who are doing quite well finding mates, but why take worse odds than you need to, particularly when your friend has already shown herself, through her education and the fact that she's asking you about this issue, to be good at long-term planning that puts the odds in her favor. If having a relationship is so important to her that she's willing to make sacrifices for it (like going into default, etc.), then that's all the more reason to do what's needed to get herself one. A real one.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: sheepstache on June 06, 2015, 03:05:27 PM
Not really seeing anyone sticking up for they guy in this situation. How does his financial situation change if they move where it works best for her and not him? It's the same argument, just that the sides are flip flopped.

I don't think anyone blames the guy for his career decisions, just for not having the necessary discussions and arrangements to make the situation work for him and the person he's willingly in a relationship with. The "shit or get off the pot" issue. Of course, we don't know exactly what he's said to the friend; he may have made it clear he's not super committed but she's not open to the message.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 07, 2015, 12:31:01 PM
So much good commentary.
A few more thoughts, from someone who grew up in Montreal and has a 26 year old DD.

Montreal/Quebec aspects: 1.Jewish Montreal boy (sorry it sounds so stereotypical) - how involved is the BF with his family?  Is he unwilling to move elsewhere because of close family ties?  OP said that part of the not getting married was that BF was worried about religious issues?  Jewish/non-Jewish marriages often have issues because of differing family expectations, not the actual religious differences (including one in my family, expectations have to be super clear beforehand or there is disaster).
  2.  Montreal is low cost of living because incomes are also low.  If the friend does end up there her equity will not grow as fast as it will elsewhere, especially as a teacher.  Ontario high school teachers make more than Quebec CEGEP (College) teachers.  BC teacher salaries (well, any other province but Newfoundland, and it is improving) are better.  Better pensions down the road, too. Just as good health care.

Age/relationship aspects:  1. DD and her friends are seeing a lot of couples falling into the comfortable living together situation, and a lot of the women (not the guys) are becoming very unhappy with these situations as time goes on - the guys are getting the benefits and the girls are paying more of the price. 
2.  DD is now in a medium-distance relationship, they take turns going back and forth to each other's city.  She uses the travel hacks we all know and love.  They both figure that they both need to put in equal effort here. And yes, they do track it, if one is at the other's two weeks in a row because of whatever,  the other reciprocates.  And both have agreed that they are not moving in together until the relationship is older and stronger, they have seen too many friends move in together too soon.

So I agree OP's friend would do well to job-hunt in BC.  Better financial situation, no need to break up, but the long-distance relationship will both give her and her BF some distance to see the relationship more clearly, and the back and forth will test commitment.   After all, if he won't get an RBC WestJet card and use the miles to go see her, well that shows how much he values her.  And if he does, that also shows how much he values her.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 07, 2015, 07:49:29 PM

So much good commentary.
A few more thoughts, from someone who grew up in Montreal and has a 26 year old DD.

Montreal/Quebec aspects: 1.Jewish Montreal boy (sorry it sounds so stereotypical) - how involved is the BF with his family?  Is he unwilling to move elsewhere because of close family ties?  OP said that part of the not getting married was that BF was worried about religious issues?  Jewish/non-Jewish marriages often have issues because of differing family expectations, not the actual religious differences (including one in my family, expectations have to be super clear beforehand or there is disaster).
  2.  Montreal is low cost of living because incomes are also low.  If the friend does end up there her equity will not grow as fast as it will elsewhere, especially as a teacher.  Ontario high school teachers make more than Quebec CEGEP (College) teachers.  BC teacher salaries (well, any other province but Newfoundland, and it is improving) are better.  Better pensions down the road, too. Just as good health care.

Age/relationship aspects:  1. DD and her friends are seeing a lot of couples falling into the comfortable living together situation, and a lot of the women (not the guys) are becoming very unhappy with these situations as time goes on - the guys are getting the benefits and the girls are paying more of the price. 
2.  DD is now in a medium-distance relationship, they take turns going back and forth to each other's city.  She uses the travel hacks we all know and love.  They both figure that they both need to put in equal effort here. And yes, they do track it, if one is at the other's two weeks in a row because of whatever,  the other reciprocates.  And both have agreed that they are not moving in together until the relationship is older and stronger, they have seen too many friends move in together too soon.

So I agree OP's friend would do well to job-hunt in BC.  Better financial situation, no need to break up, but the long-distance relationship will both give her and her BF some distance to see the relationship more clearly, and the back and forth will test commitment.   After all, if he won't get an RBC WestJet card and use the miles to go see her, well that shows how much he values her.  And if he does, that also shows how much he values her.

Good synopsis here. As a shiksa who married a lovely Montreal Jewish boy, I know that families can have their reservations but it all depends on specifics. I don't know if my friend's bf has family pressure or if he's using it as an excuse - but dating for five years, they must figure she's here to stay. Hopefully.

My dad has often told me, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" I think we may see a lot of unhappy women in my generation! Tough situation. I wonder why it's never the guy jonesing to get married? Or do I just not have the inside scoop on guys?

You're so right - my friend's earning potential in other provinces is just plain better. She's bilingual and would be scooped up immediately. But the heart wants what it wants, and they did long distance in the past... I don't see her moving. When they were long distance before, she ended up moving back to BC. He will never move due to strong family ties, and having a dream job he could have difficulty finding elsewhere. Siiiiigh.

Sounds like your daughter has a great relationship :) Hopefulky they can be in the same city one day soon!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: scrubbyfish on June 07, 2015, 09:19:12 PM
Reading with interest, per my own life journey.

I can say this:
Several guys asked me to relocate with them.
In all but one case I acted from my wisdom and said no. I never regretted that.
In one case, I second-guessed my usual approach, wondered if life would go better if I did otherwise, and said yes. I regretted it.
I regretted it because he thought and behaved like the guy in this question seems to (and worse).
He wanted all the benefit, and to leave me with a vastly increased burden which he didn't need to concern himself with. Yuck.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Otsog on June 08, 2015, 12:57:17 AM
Neither BC or QC

Move to Nunavut and knock out those student loans in a year, two tops.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: markbrynn on June 08, 2015, 04:53:48 AM
Quote
My dad has often told me, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" I think we may see a lot of unhappy women in my generation! Tough situation. I wonder why it's never the guy jonesing to get married? Or do I just not have the inside scoop on guys?

I can't speak for all men, but here are my thoughts. Depending on where you live in the world, and your own particular family and friends, marriage has some different meanings/functions. There's religious marriage (in a church/other building, before god, etc.). There's a civil wedding which is a lot of legal stuff to make responsibilities and protections for each person (and tax issues, etc.). And as a third one, there's saying to the world (but primarily family and friends) that you love this person and plan to spend your life together.

I don't know if marriage was ever a solution to the buying the cow situation. Perhaps with stronger societal pressure against the man if he is married there used to be some value. However, in the world today it is completely possible to be married to one woman and have sex with others. If the wife is unhappy she can leave the marriage, but if the couple doesn't have a lot of money, she doesn't benefit in any way. It's possible if the man has had a better job that the wife will get some alimony, but I wouldn't count on it covering the loss of income for an under-developed career. Especially in a situation with no kids involved, I don't see the power of marriage to protect either the man or the woman. And any feeling of responsibility/guilt/shame/etc. is less likely to exist if one partner felt pressured into getting married.

Regarding whether men are "jonesing" to get married or not. My belief is that it's not that common, but perhaps for different reasons than you're thinking. I know a lot of people who intellectually do not see a lot of need for marriage. They aren't religious and the legal part may or may not be helpful in their situation. For most people, including ones who are against/indifferent towards marriage, I think they see marriage as something emotional. A wedding day with lots of love and fun, a lifelong commitment, etc. The whole emotional picture is something that is sold to woman from a young age. It's their day. Princess for a day. Put a ring on his finger. Ball and chain. They get what they want, the man puts up with it, etc.

So, when it came time for me to contemplate marriage, this is what I thought: It is not important to me religiously. It is not important to me legally. I love this woman and I'm already committed to her (live together, share expenses, look after each other). So what is this marriage about? Why are we getting married? Is it for the wedding? An excuse for a big party? Or is it to satisfy more conservative family and friends that we are "doing the right thing." In the end, I got married because my wife wanted it and there was no reason for me not to. But I did ask her to wait a while until I was really comfortable that we had a solid foundation to (hopefully) see it all the way through. As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the problem with the guy in the original post is that it doesn't sound like he's committed, rather than his comment about marriage.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: iris lily on June 08, 2015, 06:22:04 AM
The milk analogy is old, tired, and insulting.

That said, I think it is generally not a good idea to move in together until an agreement for permanent commitment (whether that is marriage or something else) is made. But most people cannot communicate their thoughts and goals clearly to one another, and often even to themselves. Too many young women also seem to me to be muddled in their thinking about romance and actions which lead to commitment.

There are far too many people who move in together and then find out the relationship is not "progressing" in the direction they want. A huge detriment in these situations is the stasis of a living situation. It's hard to pick up your stuff and move out, it's hard to take big actions. It's easier to break up if you don't have to move out, if you don't have to gather your stuff, find a way to move it, and find another place to live.

Too many people are living together because it's easier than not. And then someone gets pregnant. And then children are brought into the lackluster relationship where parents are then tied together forever. It's all too bad.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 08, 2015, 07:02:20 AM
IrisLily

This is what my DD told me - and even before the kids, the guys want them to buy a car jointly, or a house, and boom, they are in a long-term financial arrangement without a major relationship commitment.  Doesn't have to be marriage, but there should be some formal agreement as to rights and responsibilities - cohabitation agreements exist for a reason.  These are capable women, carrying their share of the finances, but they seem to be willing to settle.  Once there are children in mind, I think marriage or a really tight pre-nup are needed, because it not only protects both spouses, it protects the children.

People do learn from experience, older people who remarry do tend to sign contracts.  Usually they do it to protect their children's rights to family assets, but it protects them too.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 08, 2015, 07:24:38 AM
This a good idea, IF her living costs are covered - prices are stratospheric there because it is so hard to transport goods.  Plus it gives her a good resume.

Neither BC or QC.  Move to Nunavut and knock out those student loans in a year, two tops.

As someone who taught in Quebec for >30 years, my basic advice to her would be - do not look for a job in teaching in Quebec.  Salaries are low, job security is getting worse, and your experience becomes less transferable the longer you work there.  Her bilingualism is expected there, it is an asset anyplace else (my DD gets a salary bonus every year because she passed all the bilingual exams at her job).  If she truly wants to stay in Montreal (you said Quebec but I am guessing Montreal, Quebec) she should be looking at all her skills and reassessing her career.

She is in deep financial trouble (like true hair-on-fire-debt trouble) and her BF lets her pay less rent? How nice of him (yes that was sarcasm, he may be a nice guy but I am not impressed with him). Her being there is why she is in deep financial trouble, so he is not showing much concern for her future.  And down the road, if the deeper commitment never materializes, she has killed her career.

Actually I am not sure about teaching at all - fewer students, fewer jobs - I just looked online at my local public board and they have almost nothing posted. Why doesn't she try for something with the Federal (or Provincial) government?

Also, it just struck me, if he is making such good money, is their housing in line with HIS salary?  In that case her housing costs are too high for her income, there is lots of inexpensive housing in Montreal. 

Her boyfriend has his dream job in Quebec and is unwilling to relocate. He is making excellent money, and she is barely scraping by. Recently he agreed that she could pay rent proportionally instead of 50/50. He figures they could get married five years from now, but not any time soon. They've been together five years. She is 26, working part-time at a high-end pre-school, and her student loans went into default and she's freaking out. She feels like she's making a lot of financial sacrifices, and he just doesn't get it. He's a great guy, I like him, but it seems like he doesn't empathize with what she's dealing with.

Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 08, 2015, 09:22:36 AM
All I can say is that if my friend looks to me for more advice, I've got some more useful things to say. Before, it felt like she just wanted someone to comfort her and help her look on the bright side, so I did. But now I think I would give a little tough love, and present some options she maybe hasn't seriously considered.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: mm1970 on June 08, 2015, 03:19:31 PM
Right after my wife and I got married, we made a long-distance move for my job. My wife had trouble finding work here and now makes significantly less than she did in our old city. It's OK, because I make enough and all of our finances are combined. HOWEVER - in a million years I never would have expected her to make that move without a ring on her finger. (Or, for the anti-marriage folks, a mutually agreed longterm committment with an understanding I'd support her financially.)

Without marriage (officially or common-law), she's putting herself in precarious financial position. What happens if he leaves her in five years? She's on her own with no savings and a work history full of part-time jobs and unemployment spells.

With marriage, what happens if he leaves her in five years?

I'm not "anti-marriage" overall, but I fail to see how "showing commitment" on paper would actually change anything for this situation.
Well, depending on her state, she gets half of their assets and alimony.  In my state, it would be alimony for 1/2 the number of years that they were married.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: sheepstache on June 08, 2015, 09:27:25 PM
I mean, this is kind of a boring explanation, but I think the reason we don't see as many men "jonesing" to get married is because men do want to get married, but at an older age. Both genders want to lock down the best mate they can get when their assets are at their highest. For men, relying on career/financial/social status, that usually happens later, whereas for women, relying on some status combined with looks, it averages out to earlier. This was all fine until there started being pressure on both men and women to date people the same age as themselves.  Now you have all these couples who have, not necessarily different goals, but different time tables for them.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: Wilson Hall on June 09, 2015, 05:21:47 PM
I could go on a long rant and probably offend most folks here, but this is why I wouldn't move in with someone without getting married.   He is getting all the benefits of marriage and not having to make any commitments to her.   She needs to pack up and move.

+1

This is an easy one.  Your friend should grow up and move to B.C.  In time she may meet a guy that actually appreciates her and can commit to her.

+2

I have a couple of friends who did move cross-country to be with their significant other, but in each case the one who didn't do the moving provided financial support for the S.O. who gave up a career. They were either engaged or actively discussing marriage before the relocation. These couples got married within a year and are still happily married over a decade later.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: irishbear99 on June 09, 2015, 05:29:38 PM
This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

The biggest red flag I see is that not only is he not supporting her like a true partner, but he seems perfectly okay with watching her struggle from a position of comfort and plenty. That seems to indicate a level of callous disregard that I cannot even fathom.

Have you asked your friend how she feels about this? Maybe talking about it from that standpoint ("How do you feel when he...?") will help her sort it out in her own mind.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 09, 2015, 06:46:27 PM

I mean, this is kind of a boring explanation, but I think the reason we don't see as many men "jonesing" to get married is because men do want to get married, but at an older age. Both genders want to lock down the best mate they can get when their assets are at their highest. For men, relying on career/financial/social status, that usually happens later, whereas for women, relying on some status combined with looks, it averages out to earlier. This was all fine until there started being pressure on both men and women to date people the same age as themselves.  Now you have all these couples who have, not necessarily different goals, but different time tables for them.

Interesting!! Sounds logical to me. Wow. Kind of a downer for young women daring young men, lol!

I really enjoy this theory for its probability.
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: lifejoy on June 09, 2015, 06:47:30 PM

This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

The biggest red flag I see is that not only is he not supporting her like a true partner, but he seems perfectly okay with watching her struggle from a position of comfort and plenty. That seems to indicate a level of callous disregard that I cannot even fathom.

Have you asked your friend how she feels about this? Maybe talking about it from that standpoint ("How do you feel when he...?") will help her sort it out in her own mind.

Good idea.

I am utterly amazed that he sat back and did nothing while her loans went into default!
Title: Re: Advice for my friend? She can't afford her relationship $$
Post by: DeepEllumStache on June 10, 2015, 07:03:09 AM

This.  I agree that the issue is that he's not supporting her like a true partner, in that he's asked her to sacrifice her career for his, without making any allowances for her sacrifice and helping her.

The biggest red flag I see is that not only is he not supporting her like a true partner, but he seems perfectly okay with watching her struggle from a position of comfort and plenty. That seems to indicate a level of callous disregard that I cannot even fathom.

Have you asked your friend how she feels about this? Maybe talking about it from that standpoint ("How do you feel when he...?") will help her sort it out in her own mind.

Good idea.

I am utterly amazed that he sat back and did nothing while her loans went into default!

Did he know she was heading that direction and that her loans were going into default? If he did, it really is a massive red flag. If he didn't, she needs to communicate.